Kenya Airways experiences spare parts shortage due Ukraine crisis

Two Kenya Airways aircraft parked on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Kenya Airways

LONDON – One of Africa’s largest airlines, Kenya Airways, has advised that it is experiencing flight disruptions due to problems in acquiring aircraft spares and components needed for its maintenance activities. The ongoing Ukraine war was cited as a root cause of the supply chain problems.

Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka has issued a statement saying that the airline may be forced to cut some of its flight scheduling if the problems of acquiring parts continue.

In his formal statement, Mr Kilavuka said that the ongoing Ukraine war had caused a significant crippling of the supply chain from Russia to the global aviation market. He noted the sourcing of titanium needed for commercial airliners from the Russian market.

Kenya Airways statement

We wish to inform our customers that we are experiencing some flight disruptions. These are as a result of delays in getting our aircraft, which are undergoing scheduled maintenance, back into operations due to global challenges with the supply of some aircraft components.

This has constrained our aircraft availability because we do not have extra aircraft capacity to help alleviate the delays. These challenges are global and affect not only Kenya Airways but all airlines globally.

The challenges have been occasioned by the Ukraine war crisis which has significantly crippled the Russian supply chain crucial to global aviation. The aviation supply chain is highly dependent on raw materials from many countries including Russia.

For example, 100% titanium used on Embraer and 35% titanium used on Boeing are sourced from Russia. With a limited inventory, airlines have had to look worldwide to find the parts they need.

Additionally, in Europe and North America, where most airlines get their components, manufacturers are looking to ramp up production of aircraft components to overcome delivery delays. However, that is proving to be difficult because of a shortage of qualified workers.

This has exacerbated the delay in supply chains and compromised the availability of components for airlines. From the onset we would like to assure our customers that we are doing everything possible within our control to reduce the impact of these supply chain delays on our operations.

We are also proactively anticipating these delays and communicating them as soon as possible. We are committed, and are working with our partners, to find a solution that minimizes the disruptions and the inconvenience to our customers.

To that end, we are currently finalizing a component support program that will help fast track the securing of components. We are also actively engaging our OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners to work on mitigation measures which should ensure continuity of our network and operations.

In the event that supply chain challenges persist, we may have changes in our flight schedules with reductions in some frequencies. We sincerely apologise to our guests for the inconvenience but assure them of our commitment to provide the highest level of service during this time.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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